Lesson 2 : SCRUM, let’s try it !

For this second lesson, I first started by reassessing what my students were supposed to learn the week before, meaning all the SCRUM terminology.In order to accomplish this, I re-used the flashcards created the week before, but this time, I made the students choose a card randomly and present it to their classmates. This exercice allowed everybody to get back on track.

After this small review, I explained that the aim of the afternoon will be to create paper planes, which created a total chaos in the classroom.

My objective for this lesson was to make them understand the way SCRUM works without starting to develop a real program yet. I remembered the first course I attended about Scrum and a game we played at that time. The game was something similar to the paper plane creation but we had to make boats and hats.

Anyway, I searched the Internet to try to remember how the game worked exactly, but instead I found the Paper Plane Factory Game, which I decided to use.

I split the students in 3 groups, 2 groups of 5 and one group of 4 and started the game by alternating 2 minute sprints and 1 minute retrospectives. Before each sprint students were asked to estimate the number of planes that they plan to produce. At the end of each sprint, I tested all the planes and decided if they were conform to the specifications or not.

Students simply loved the concept! Imagine 14 boys, well young men (18-22), learning that they will be devided into 3 groups in order to produce paper planes. 🙂

They definitly had fun! And more importantly, through the game, they learned :

  • what is a sprint,
  • what is a retrospective, 
  • what are the acceptance criteria 
  • what is quality. 

The learned how to re-adjust their estimation and their work-flow from one sprint to another. They also learned to deal with “technical” constraints, for example having only one pen for each group.

The game took us a bit more than an hour, and at the end, the different teams decided to stay together for the next step of the course : Developing a real project with SCRUM.

This exercice created a team spirit in every team, and even if in the begining they weren’t very happy with their groups, at the end they decided to keep the teams as is.

Next week, they will choose an existing exercice developed in Delphi and will have to write the backlog and start to plan a sprint to re-do the same exercice in C#.NET.

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